“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” – Michael J. Fox
We all want the perfect life with the perfect job and the perfect car with the perfect house in which lives the perfect family. But have you ever stopped to wonder whether this fascination with perfection is healthy or not? Whether it is doing you any good or is it taking away something from your life?
Excellence is defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Perfection is defined as having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
Just by the definitions, you can see that perfection seems like an enormous task. And it is! Just imagine how difficult it is to be ‘as good as possible’ at something. Even if we spent all the 24 hours of the day on perfecting something, it still isn’t quite possible to actually be perfect at it. Because it’s quite unlikely that even with the best of all our efforts, we will be able to attain perfection. Aiming for perfection is something like setting yourself up for failure because no matter how hard we try, there will always be something or the other that remains undone or ‘imperfect’.
And that’s okay. We really need to realise this. IT IS OKAY TO BE IMPERFECT. In today’s world, everyone is running after perfection. And while it may serve some people some good, it doesn’t do so for majority of people. The key to living a peaceful life is to not aim for perfection. Sound strange? Well, maybe it is! But won’t one rather be strange or a little offbeat rather than stressed and in-line for the very elusive ‘perfection’.
Excellence is doing one’s job very well, to the best of one’s ability. But perfection isn’t so. Perfection, more often than not, refers to standards set by someone else or the action of wanting to fit-into a pre-decided mould of what looks ‘great’. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it does become an issue is when individuals start chasing the elusive dream of perfection and start ruining their health and overall lives over it.
I mean, think about it… is something really that important that you start losing sleep over it, start having unhealthy lifestyle choices and keep getting stressed over it? Issues like irritable mood, constant worrying, feeling low/ cranky, fluctuations in blood pressure, loss/increase in appetite… these are all symptoms of not being able to deal with constant pressure of performing or attaining perfection. And for what? To what end? It is something we really need to think about: at an individual level and as a society. What legacy are we leaving for our future generations if all they saw us do was being burnt out, overworked and under-slept?
When you find yourself in the rat race to attain the ‘perfect’ life, remind yourself of what Michael J. Fox said, that perfection is God’s business. Leave the worry, strain and tension of having the “perfect life” because last time anybody checked, it didn’t exist!
Article written by Juhi Jaiswal
Sewa done for Synergy with Energy